Although April Fool’s Day pranks are meant to be funny or embarrassing, many go horribly wrong causing serious injuries, and even death. Last year, there were over 400,000 injuries related to pranks and stunts that were treated in hospital emergency departments.
April Fool’s Pranks can be Deadly
April Fool’s Day is a fun holiday for many people who enjoy a surprise and a chuckle. Who doesn’t laugh at the candles that never blow out, the trick gum that snaps at a person’s fingers, or the fake flower that squirts water? These pranks and many like them are amusing and harmless, but many push the boundaries of safety. April Fool’s Day pranks that put someone at risk of injury or death are anything but amusing.
With today’s popularity of social media, there are numerous April Fool’s Day pranks posted online each year. As evidenced in many of these videos and photographs, many of these pranks and stunts go horribly wrong. There have been so many serious injuries, YouTube recently banned the posting of dangerous pranks and stunts, as well as any pranks that may cause emotional distress to children from their website.
Teenagers and young adults are responsible for many dangerous April Fool’s pranks posted online. Due to unpredictable and impulsive behaviors, teenagers often lack good judgment and fail to recognize the dangerous consequences of many pranks and stunts. Popular pranks and online challenges include the “Fire Challenge” where a teen is doused in some sort of flammable liquid and set on fire, and the “Tide Pod Challenge” where a teen eats laundry detergent packets on camera. These challenges are certainly not amusing and can easily cause life-threatening injuries or death. Other popular teen pranks include:
- The Surfing Challenge – In this challenge, a teen “surfs” on the hood, roof, or bumper of a moving car while another teen videos the prank. This dangerous game has resulted in numerous teen injuries and deaths, as well as serious car crashes.
- The Duct Tape Challenge – In this prank, several teens duct tape another teen’s arms to a pole, then he/she tries to break free of the tape. Recently, this challenge resulted in a crushed eye socket and a brain aneurysm for one teen who fell and hit his head on a concrete slab.
- The Lip Challenge – This prank is popular among teen girls who pull their lips inside a shot glass and suck out the air. It’s done to plump up the lips, but it often results in broken blood vessels, cuts on the lips that require stitches, and skin and mouth infections.
- The Cinnamon Game – In this game, a teen swallows a spoonful of cinnamon without drinking any water. Although many teens consider it harmless, it often results in respiratory distress and choking, damaged or collapsed lungs, and death.
- The Cinder Block Prank – Popular with teen boys and young male adults, this prank involves removing the tire of a car and leaving the car on cinder blocks. In addition to costly repairs, this prank can damage the car and cause unsafe driving and car accidents.
- The Gas Tank Prank – This prank involves filing a car’s gas tank up with water, rocks, golf balls, or other foreign objects. Obviously, a gas tank filled with anything other than gasoline will damage the car and potentially cause serious accidents.
Use Common Sense to Avoid Injuries
April Fool’s Day pranks that bring laughter are fine, but using common sense can help to avoid accidents and injuries. If there is any possibility that a person may be harmed by a prank or stunt, it should be avoided. Here are some safety tips:
Avoid Pranks on Drivers and Vehicles
Playing pranks on a driver and/or his vehicle can result in serious, even deadly car crashes. Anything that obstructs a driver’s vision, hearing, coordination, or attention to the road can result in unsafe driving and dangers to other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Avoid Using Water
Using water in April Fool’s Day pranks and stunts can create slippery surfaces and the potential for serious falls. Someone who accidentally slips and falls on a slippery floor can suffer fractures, broken bones, facial lacerations, neck and back injuries, head trauma, and life-altering brain injuries.
Avoid Pranks with Dangerous Objects
Using dangerous objects in pranks can cause serious injuries. Sharp knives and scissors, electrical devices, tools and machinery, and heavy objects all have the potential for causing fatal accidents and injuries, especially on an unsuspecting victim.
Avoid Heights and Stairs
Playing a prank on someone who is on a ladder, staircase, rooftop, or other high surfaces can result in numerous injuries from a fall. Even a short fall from a height of three feet or less can cause sprained or broken ankles, hand and arm fractures, and head trauma.